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Do you think you would have preferred a life without kids?

Posted by on Aug. 6, 2013 at 10:09 AM
  • 28 Replies

'Time' Magazine's 'Childfree' Life Article Shows Moms What They Are Missing

by Sarah Bernard

As someone who has not taken a vacation in the seven years since my twins were born -- a real one that involves lying in the sand in a bathing suit -- Lauren Sandler's Time magazine cover story about life being better without kids seriously struck a nerve.

My daughters aren't only the best thing I have ever done, they were a hard-won prize that came with one of those harrowing IVF stories we are all accustomed to hearing now. When motherhood didn't come easily to me, I was devastated, depressed, and distraught. The idea that the thing I most desperately wanted in my entire life might never happen was equal to annihilation. Yes, that real and that intense.

I hate being away from my girls. But this summer they have been lucky enough to spend weekdays at day camp in the country with grandparents and a babysitter running the ship while my husband and I work. And I am slightly horrified to admit that for the first time maybe ever, I can see the appeal of the child-free life

Like all working moms, my day is book-ended between school drop-off and when the babysitter leaves. I am home often. Most nights, I'd say. And it is not a sacrifice. I want to hear about school, spend time with my goofballs, read them Rainbow Magic books before bed. I fall asleep with them more than I'd like to admit. But there you go. I just did. I would go so far as to say there might even be a bit of co-dependence going on between me and my daughters. Hence the vacation problem mentioned above.

When the summer started, I worried that I would miss them so badly and that they would miss me so badly that this experiment would fail miserably. I watched friends send their slightly older kids off to summer camp for seven impossibly long weeks and my heart broke for them. For the record, they have spent every day since trolling their camps' website for photos of their children looking happy that they then email around as evidence that their pain is worth it.

The first week that my husband and I were in the city, my girls called a lot. One of them would cry in the mornings because I wasn't there. Then, the calls tapered off. And something happened. My husband and I met for drinks at 9:30 p.m. I started staying up late and watching movies or reading. Reading! I met friends for dinner -- is it worth noting that these friends happened to be of the "childless" variety? I worked late -- the way I used to in the old days. It felt right. It felt normal.

I found myself saying goodbye to my munchkins on Sundays and secretly looking forward to the start of the week. Driving away from my girls, I felt downright giddy.

The truth is, my enjoyment of this time is in part because I know it is temporary. I know that in a matter of days, my husband and I will be back to doing the full-time parenting, the drudge work, the refereeing, the cuddling, the playing, and the answering of precocious questions that make me squeeze them so hard I could cry.

If this child-free life were in fact my full-time life, no matter what Lauren Sandler says is a statistical trend, or what the women she interviewed insist they prefer, I would be miserable. I think a lot of moms would agree. For many of us -- if not most -- having children is having it all.

Do you think you would have preferred a life without kids?

by on Aug. 6, 2013 at 10:09 AM
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by on Aug. 6, 2013 at 10:11 AM
3 moms liked this

Absolutely not.

I think about it this way. When I'm old and dying, I'm not going to surround myself with my success, my stuff, or a memory box of all the places I've been.

I'm going to surround myself with my family. And I'm hoping it's a big one!

Claire Wait

My blog:

by on Aug. 6, 2013 at 10:44 AM
1 mom liked this

I can relate to the article - having twins myself, working full time, nights packed with homework, reading, being home every night, not taking a vacation in umteen years, etc. To top it off I'm a single mom doing all of these things. 

My daughters go to their dad's for 11 weeks during summer break.  The first week or two I miss them terribly.  I enjoy the freedom to come and go for a couple weeks, but then I want them home with me.  They cry on the phone sometimes and it breaks my heart. 

Although the life of a full time working single mom is not glamourous, it's completely packed with stress at times - it's my life and my beautiful daughters.  I would never want to imagine a life without them.  I am a better person because I am their mother.  <3<3 

by on Aug. 6, 2013 at 12:41 PM

I'm me because of them. So no. I would like the opportunity to spend a weekend somewhere without them once in a while but that's it. I never wish I'd never had them.

by Ivy on Aug. 6, 2013 at 12:59 PM
1 mom liked this

 My husband and I try to go on dates at least once a month, and we use one of his two vacations a year as a couples' vacation vs a family vacation.  We get that time that we need. Is it the same as not having kids, absolutely not.  Would I prefer a child-less life? Not in a million years

by Ruby Member on Aug. 6, 2013 at 1:33 PM

As a person who did not plan either of her children, I can say yes, I would have preferred a child less life. 

Regardless of what anyone says, we used birth control correctly and it failed us twice. After our second child was born I had a tubal while still in the hospital. 

Don't get me wrong, I love my children very much. They are loved, fed, and well taken care of. But had life gone the way we planned it, we'd be childless. 

by Melissa on Aug. 6, 2013 at 1:49 PM
I've always wanted kids so I wouldn't change it. There are times that it would be nice to not have to shuttle kids around an I'm sure we would have had a honeymoon but I wouldn't change it.
by on Aug. 6, 2013 at 1:51 PM

I never saw myself as a childless grown-up. I always knew one day I'd have children. I went to college but never really found a career and I never really allowed work to take up my life anyway so things worked out! :)

by on Aug. 6, 2013 at 1:54 PM

My life as a single without kids was fun, I traveled, edcuated myself, did all sorts of stuff,  then fell in love , got married  and had a baby...., so incredible! my 2nd pregnancy gave me 2 wonderful babies! life is busy and content and going strong, if I wasnt able to have children I would adopt... wouldnt trade this life for anything in this world   

by on Aug. 6, 2013 at 2:18 PM

Nope, never.

I experienced infertility and a number of miscarriages. After trying to focus on the 'things' I could have instead I know this is the only life that gives me happiness and satisfaction. 

(Most days I would love a break, freedom, money, stronger career, travel; all the things I put on the back burner. But living without those is nothing compared to the resentment I felt at not being to have a child.)

by Bronze Member on Aug. 6, 2013 at 3:02 PM

I think I would have liked it till I got old and had no one really in my own little family. Christmases and other family gatherings would feel a little empty.

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